January 30, 2008

Available in Word Format for Printing

District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools
Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education
Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools
  Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools
  Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools
  Directors of Special Education
  Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
  Directors of Approved Preschool Programs and Preschool Educators
  Head Start Directors
  VESID Regional Offices

SETRC Project Directors and Training Specialists

  Early Childhood Direction Centers
  Independent Living Centers
  Parent Organizations
  CBVH Regional Offices
  Chairpersons of Committees on Special Education
  Chairpersons of Preschool Committees on Special Education
  Others Involved with the Education of the Visually Impaired
FROM: Rebecca H. Cort    
Annual Registration of All Students Classified as Legally Blind for Procurement of Special Media Materials Produced by the American Printing House for the Blind

The annual American Printing House for the Blind (APH) census program is administered by the New York State School for the Blind Resource Center (NYSSBRC) located in Batavia, New York.  Enclosed are forms and instructions for the annual census of NEW students who are legally blind. Please do not re-register a student if the student has been previously registered. Your cooperation in designating one person for this process is appreciated, and will help to eliminate duplication of registrations.

The census is used to determine New York State's eligibility for Federal Quota Funds for special media materials produced by APH.  *Materials are available to the school the student attends if he/she is enrolled as of January 1, 2008. The enclosed registration form must be completed and returned no later than March 3, 2008.  No registrations can be submitted after that deadline.

*(A catalog of APH materials is available at www.aph.org)

Students who qualify for this program must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

The enclosed form should be used only for legally blind students who were NOT PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED.  **Separate instructions with lists of students who were previously registered are being sent from the NYSSBRC.

For all other schools and for those in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NEW registration forms should be returned by FAX or mailed to:

New York State School for the Blind Resource Center- APH
2A Richmond Avenue
Batavia, New York 14020
FAX  (585) 343-0652

**(If you are unsure about your student’s registration status, please contact the NYSSBRC at (585) 343-5384, extension 207.)

Failure to provide all requested information accurately may invalidate the form and delay the process of registration.  Please note the following:

            ♦ Infants and preschoolers identified as visual, braille, or auditory readers should  
                 be reported using the appropriate media code.
            ♦ All eligible individuals over 21 years of age must be registered "AD" in grade.

Federal Quota Funds vary annually depending upon congressional appropriation and the total national registration. Under the provisions of the Federal Act to Promote the Education of Blind Children, these quota allocations are not cash payments but are bookkeeping entries credited against the New York State account.

It is recommended that districts assign the responsibility of ordering materials to one person who can also act as a contact between the local district/agency and the NYSSBRC to track the orders and use of the district's total allotment.  Orders for books and materials on the quota allocation should contain:

All orders should be submitted to NYSSBRC.  All requested information MUST be included or the order may be returned causing a delay in the arrival of materials.

Materials acquired with Federal Quota Funds are New York State property. Any questions regarding procedures for ordering APH materials may be referred to NYSSBRC, at the above address or by telephone at (585) 343‑5384, extension 207.

REMINDER: Obtaining instructional materials in alternative formats is a process that requires sufficient lead time and clear and timely communication among school personnel.  Orders should be placed as soon as possible so students have access to their instructional materials in a timely manner. Generally, it takes approximately three to four months for texts to be converted to large print.  It takes an average of three to six months for straight literary text (without math, special symbols or graphics) to be converted to Braille.  Mathematics, music, science, social studies or other textbooks containing symbols, maps, graphs and other graphics take an average of six to nine months or longer to produce, as these require special braille codes and hand-created tactile graphic representations or verbal descriptions of graphics that are not reproducible in tactile form.  For textbooks containing higher level mathematics and science or social studies, especially those with many graphics, it may be necessary to provide a course syllabus along with the textbook request, containing the planned dates for the chapters or pages to be covered, in order to assure that the materials needed first are available in time.


Student Grade Placement Categories and Reporting Codes

Review the following student placement categories.  Make certain the placement reported accurately reflects each student's placement. Report the grade placement for each student using the appropriate code shown. Only these codes are accepted.

Adult Students
This includes all eligible participants over school age.

AD:  Adults above school age in educational programs of less than college level.

Students in education programs, but not enrolled in grade 12 or below, must "have a written instruction plan and be enrolled in and attend, on a regular basis, an instructional program of at least 20 hours of instruction per week. Social and leisure programs do not qualify as instructional programs."

Preschool and School Age Students
This is not to include any eligible participants over school age.

Reporting Code



Infants: Children of preschool age (0-36 months) served by infant programs


Preschool Students: Children of preschool age (37 months-5 years) served by preschool programs


Kindergarten Students: Children enrolled in kindergarten classes


Students of School Age: Students in regular academic grades 1 through 12. Please indicate grade placement by using numerals 01 through 12


Academic Non-graded: Students of school age who are working to acquire skills necessary for placement in a regular grade.


Vocational Students: Students of school age who are in vocational training (e.g., students enrolled in a program which is designed to lead to independent employment). This does not include students with multiple disabilities in prevocational programs or classes.


Post-graduate Students: Students of school age in post-graduate high school programs studying at less than college level


Other Registrants: Students of school age who do not fall into any of the above placements (e.g., students enrolled in classes for nonacademic students)

REPORT OF VISUAL ACUITY: Even in the case of a non-communicative or non-responsive student, there must be a verification that the child meets the definition of blindness as stated below. Visual acuities have to be indicated using one of the following codes:

Reporting Code

Visual Measurement

Example: 20/200   or 20/400

Distance Vision: 20/200 or less with maximum correction using the Snellen Chart

VF and the degree of restriction (e.g., VF 20, VF 6)

Visual Field: Restricted field of 20 degrees or less


Counts Fingers: Should be used only when an eye specialist finds it is not possible to obtain an acuity using the Snellen Chart


Functions at the Definition of Blindness: Should be used when visual functioning is reduced by a brain injury or dysfunction and visual acuity is not possible to determine using the Snellen Chart.


Hand Movements: Should be used only when an eye specialist finds it is not possible to obtain an acuity using the Snellen Chart.


Object Perception


Light Perception


Totally Blind